Video Programs
Video Programs

Mobile World Congress 2009 – Video Reports

Mobile World Congress 2009 - Video ReportsHola – we are finally back in the groove here from our MWC adventure last month. The congress was chaos as usual this year with the predictable rush of news, presentations and evening event hopping. While attendence YoY was down, almost 50,000 players managed the annual trek and, like many, we made some fantastic connections. Yoroshiku!

Even though the main stage keynotes were, to be polite, ‘not valuable’ we were inspired by the opening address from Anssi Vonjoki at the Mobile Peer Awards. Indeed, these are the times when winners are built. Also of note, the Father of imode, and now professor at Keio University, Takeshi Natsuno gave a well-documented video presentation titled Toward Global Evolution of the Mobile Industry. The opening remarks suggested that his comments might seem controversial and that since leaving DoCoMo last spring; “I am enjoying a happy life.. just because now I can say whatever I believe”. That 20-mins was far more insightful, especially considering the caliber of delegates attending, than all of the other CEO dog & pony shows we saw – combined. While on the topic of Japanese innovation, we bumped into Masahiro Ito from YAPPA, our interview with him last spring is Here, and got a quick on-cam. demo of some of their latest UI offerings. The company apparently has major news coming later this month at the Game Developers Conference and were in Barcelona to promote the launch of their Spin UI Developers Network portal.

In summary we saw glimmers of hope, from the largest and smallest of companies, caught-up with existing clients while meeting some new prospects, had a blast at several of the mixer events and will never forget living like the locals for a week 😎

DoCoMo Marks a Strategic Shift

DoCoMo Marks a Strategic ShiftMasao Nakamura, President and CEO of NTT DoCoMo, made a presentation here recently to announce the companies new corporate identity, and more importantly strategy, will be ‘reborn’ after careful consideration of the ever evolving domestic mobile industry. He characterized the years past as a period defined by innovation driven tactics to gain new net subscribers and increase market share. However, with recent developments — including the impact of Mobile Number Portability, intense competition from new operators and the end of subsidized handset offerings — the environment has changed. Feeling that the DoCoMo “brand had diminished” and the company was “facing a crisis” Nakamura-san established (and led) the new branding division announced in August 2007.

On behalf of DoCoMo he pledged four commitments as the platform base:

1 – Polish-up the brand and strengthen ties with the customers
2 – Listen to the voices of customers and become a company that can beat their expectations
3 – Continue making innovations and aim to become a company highly appraised by the world
4 – Become a group of people with lively spirits who will keep-on challenging toward a common dream

Following those “Pillars” Nakamura-san stated that going forward the expectations of their existing subscribers will be given the highest priority. Together with special advisor Masahikko Uatoni, Chairman of Coca-Cola Japan, they began by reviewing market data and customer opinions to map a future roadmap, which clearly goes far beyond a new logo, for the company.

YAPPA 3D User Interface – Video Interview

YAPPA 3D User Interface - Video InterviewWe sat down with Masahiro Ito, founder and CEO of YAPPA Corp., last week and were entirely impressed with both the product presentation and his charming ease when discussing the mobile industry. We managed to get a sneak preview of their so-called Spin UI Effect Engine and with the press release now public we’re thrilled to go live with this report. The company has an admirable list of top-tier clients, including the 3D Box UI on Sharps device for eMobile, and is growing beyond Japan with several offices overseas.

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-Series

DoCoMo Strikes Back with 905i-SeriesDomestic market incumbant NTT DoCoMo came out with all guns blazing during their press conference at the Grand Park Hyatt in Tokyo on November 1st. For the first time ever they combined the launch for both of their upcoming 700 and 900 series models – a record 23 handsets unveiled at once – and the announcement included several new service offerings as well. Marking another notable difference from previous line-up introductions was the absence of Natsuno-san, famed ‘father of i-mode’ and always energetic MC, from the stage.

The companies flag-ship 905i-series included 10 models which will all come fully loaded with high-speed HSDPA, 1Seg digitial-tv, DCMX m-commerce, GPS, 2in1 dual-sim identity and enabled with GSM chipsets to allow global roaming complete with voice-to-text translation capabilities for English, Chinese and Japanese. Further enhancements in handset design include increased multi-media applications in motion sensor gaming, flat-rate music subscriptions and i-motion videos along with updated i-area mapping and cell broadcast emergency announcement services and Flash Lite 3 pre-installed all coming as standard features across the board.

Tokyo Game Show 2007 – Video Report

Tokyo Game Show 2007 - Video ReportYet another successful event for in the massive Makuhari Messe convention center saw almost 200,000 pass through the gates for TGS 2007. Aaaah.. the chaos, the crowds, the girls games.. how could we resist! A sunny Saturday afternoon brought out the kids – for family day – and plenty of Cosplay actors were swarming between show halls to pose down for the camera’s. But the real action, coming from every major player in the gaming world, was inside. WWJ has been on-hand for this event pretty much every year since 2002, with the first-to-web video of the Sony PSP in 2004, and this time out was perhaps the most impressive yet.

The obvious evolution on display was without a doubt the next gen. motion-sensor enabled Mega Games at the DoCoMo booth. While KDDI rolled-out the heavy armor with Metal Gear Solid and BioHazzard for mobile RPG products, the display which seems to have grabbed the most attention was from SoftBank Mobile. Thanks to Darth and the Tokyo StormTroopers, who un-leashed the new Star Wars PodRacer game, we were hooked from Go!

Impressions from the MoMo Global Summit

Impressions from the MoMo Global SummitThe 3rd annual MobileMonday Global Summit was held in Helsinki, Finland, on 10 September with an estimated 1,500 attendees; this year included a bonus side-trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, the following evening. WWJ was there once again, as founders of the MoMo Tokyo chapter, along with representatives from over 20 MoMo cities around the world. In addition to our Trip Report, WWJ’s ed-in-chief Daniel Scuka offers these thoughts about the experience.

DoCoMo Introduces 3G TouchFLO Smartphone

DoCoMo Introduces 3G TouchFLO SmartphoneDoCoMo held a well attended presser on Thursday afternoon unveiling two new smartphones, the F1100 from Fujitsu and HT1100 from HTC, both equipped with Windows Mobile 6. Full specs in English Here. The F1100 is targeted at business users and enables access via either HSDPA or WiFi networks touting a SIP client for IP telephony. The handset also has the companies signature fingerprint security scan control function. The HT1100 model supports GSM, GPRS and W-CDMA and features the dynamic TouchFLO interface, which appears almost identical to the iPhone UI. According to Peter Chou, CEO of HTC, it is the first 3G version of this handset which was introduced overseas in June. DoCoMo will begin marketing both models in early 2008.

A Totally Vivid User Interface

A Totally Vivid User Interface - Video DemoThe Next-Generation of UI’s hit the street here recently on DoCoMo 3G handsets produced by Sharp and NEC. The Vivid UI by Tokyo-based Acrodea “integrates various types of multimedia content including 3D graphics, Flash animation and full-screen movie backgrounds which enable handsets to be easily personalized with graphically enhanced menus and dynamic standby screens.”

As more developers get their hands on the content creation tool, and as brand owners begin to realize this is a natural vehicle to connect with their markets, we fully expect this style of user interface to become a common standard in the near future.. and not just in Japan. Meanwhile, remember you saw it first here on WWJ!

Mobile Monday Tokyo Demo Night Video

A Totally Vivid User Interface - Video DemoThe recent MoMo Tokyo event, held 23 April at KDDI’s Designing Studio, featured a mobile mash-up of presentations in the super-cool Demo Night format – which has been popular in other chapter cities. For Demo Night, a line-up of interesting mobile companies were allowed a 5- to 7-minute show & tell session for their mobile content or service offering – displayed on an actual handset and projected on the big screen for all to see. We’ve posted video of all six presentations for those of you who were unable to attend in person.

Tracey Northcott, VP at Enfour Group demonstrated Camera Jiten a native Brew dictionary application for instant scanning of English words giving their Japanese translations. Mandali Khalesi, CEO of Naviblog, showed-off how to find the closest Guinness with your mobile phone. David Collier, founder and CEO of Pikkle, demonstrated a new type of full-screen mobile flash service they provide to enable rich social networking. Nobuyoshi Noda, Mobile Division Deputy GM of Adways, gave an overview of the Mobile Affiliate Advertisement Smart-C product. Tim Smith, Director of Freeverse Consulting, introduced Malibu IVP, a middleware approach to creating useful and viable 3G videocall applications and Hiroshi Oda, VP Corporate Communications from CIAJ, announced that CEATEC JAPAN 2007 will launch a new special exhibit area under the theme of Digital Contents for their annual trade-show in October.

SoftBank Mobile – New Flagship Store

SoftBank Mobile - New Flagship StoreWith the flurry of activity around here lately we are somewhat behind on rolling out this quick video clip shot at SoftBank Mobile’s new Flagship store in Harajuku. Wisely located in Tokyo’s mobile youth grand central, and mere blocks away from KDDI’s Designing Studio, the company was handing out chocolates (a nice touch for Valentines day) and even had a few SoftBank Hawks baseball team personalities in the house to help celebrate their New Open launch event.

While Kitty-chan was apparently not available to promote her newly announced Swarovski Crystal handsets there was a good selection of the latest super sparkle designs, under glass, front and center. Of course the colorful 812SH Pantone series by Sharp were also easy to spot, however, for the most part there was not much in the way of selection for live working models on offer. That being said it’s certainly better than this Virtual Life SoftBank Mobile shop and hopefully the company will get more test-drive units on display in the future. As for our first impressions; it’s a definite improvement, in both size and location, when compared to the Vodafone’s earlier Megastore attempt in Shibuya several years ago.